Stepper motor solution for a coil winding machine.

Thread Starter

emtor

Joined Feb 7, 2022
10
Hello all, new member here . . .
I'm currently putting together a coil/transformer winding machine, and stepper motors seem to be the obvious choice
for driving the magnet wire guiding system.
I've searched on google for solutions but I haven't been able to find anything useful yet.
A coil/transformer winder of course needs a motor and a shaft to turn the bobbin, and a magnet wire guiding system which usually
consists of some kind of mechanical system, usually gears to drive the guiding shaft, which in turn is driven from the main shaft,
-much like a feed screw on a metal lathe.
A better solution would be a guiding system that moves the wire guiding mecanism in steps every time the main shaft has completed a full turn,
and in the case of a wire let's say, of 1mm. diameter this step would also be 1 mm.
So, what I'm asking,-is it possible to control a stepper motor driver to do steps by receiving, let's a pulse generated by the rotation
of the main shaft? -The steps would of course need to be varied according to a magnet wire diameter of choice.
All I have found so far are controllers/drivers that need to be programmed.
In this instance this would be both overkill and not practical for my use.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
28,684
Obtain a simple step/dir drive or amplifier, there a re cheap Stepper IC's already board mounted L298 or LMD18200 etc.
Use a Bi-polar stopper motor.
You would just need a contact closure to increment the motor, if a few steps are needed, a 555 or 556 would do it.
A simple mechanical turn counter is also needed usually .
 
Last edited:

John P

Joined Oct 14, 2008
2,026
I'd be a little careful here--is it a good thing to make the wire guide move a whole 1mm in a single step, when the path of the wire on the bobbin is undoubtedly going to be a smooth helix? I think the geared system would actually be a better match for what's needed here. If you do want to use a stepper motor, it's probably better to make it take many steps during a single revolution of the bobbin. That would imply an encoder on the bobbin drive to generate those steps. Or you might fake it with an array of painted stripes on the rotating shaft and an optical or magnetic sensor.

I just bought a few of these stepper drivers, and they seem to work very well. I'm using an Arduino Nano to control them.
https://www.pololu.com/product/1182
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
28,684
For very slow operation of a stepper, you do not need a sophisticated driver that requires a higher voltage than the stepper rating.
Just one of the simple boards I mentioned.
A stepper used at a very low RPM as this might be, just requires the same voltage as the plate voltage states.
 

JohnInTX

Joined Jun 26, 2012
4,787
Search Amazon for:

Usongshine Stepper Motor Driver TB6600 4A 9-42V Nema 17 Stepper Motor Driver CNC Controller +17HS4401 Motor Single Axes Phase Hybrid Stepper Motor for CNC/42 57 86 Stepper Motor


They have lots of different ones. This one is $20 you get a motor and microstepping driver. By selecting the microstep settings, you may be able to get the right step to bobbin-turn ratio using the interrupter you mentioned. I've used a few of these for knock-about projects and they work pretty well. The pulse and direction inputs are optos so that's easy too. Hard to beat for $20.
Good luck!
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
4,067
It's a simple Math problem ..........
Most "Step-per-Pulse" Stepper-Motor-Drivers have the option of "Micro-Stepping",
which means, with a 400-Step-Motor,
and a controller like the MP6500, ( ~$6.oo ),
You can advance the Motor in "Full-Steps", "1/2-Steps", "1/4-Steps", or 1/8th-Steps,
as well as Forward and Reverse,
as well as controlling the Pulse-Frequency.
That's up to 10-Steps per degree of rotation !!!
3600 pulses per revolution !!!

This, I assume would be turning a Screw with an attached Wire-Guide,
and a second Stepper-Motor turning the Coil-Form.

So now it's just a matter of figuring-out the Programming for a simple Micro-Controller
so that You can adjust for different Coil-Forms and Wire-Gauges.

I would suggest using Optical-Travel-Limit-Switches to reverse the Screw-Motor
so that it will be impossible to crash the Wire-Guide with a Programming mistake.

If You really want to punish yourself,
the whole arrangement can be also be done without a Micro-Controller
using a bunch of CD4017 Counters, a couple of Comparitors, and some DIP-Switches.
.
.
.
 

Thread Starter

emtor

Joined Feb 7, 2022
10
I'd be a little careful here--is it a good thing to make the wire guide move a whole 1mm in a single step, when the path of the wire on the bobbin is undoubtedly going to be a smooth helix? I think the geared system would actually be a better match for what's needed here. If you do want to use a stepper motor, it's probably better to make it take many steps during a single revolution of the bobbin. That would imply an encoder on the bobbin drive to generate those steps. Or you might fake it with an array of painted stripes on the rotating shaft and an optical or magnetic sensor.

I just bought a few of these stepper drivers, and they seem to work very well. I'm using an Arduino Nano to control them.
https://www.pololu.com/product/1182
Mechanical winding machines use a geared mechanism and do not move the guide in steps, but I've seen
machines with a guide that moved in steps every full rotation which seemed to work well.
It wouldn't have to move in one single step but could be made to move the required distance in several smaller steps as you get close to a full revolution.
Industrial electronically controlled machines usually wind scary fast and also have mecanisms to wind and cut insulation tape between each layer.
My machine will be slow, main shaft would only make 2 to 4 revolutions per second.
My transformers will mainly be output transformers for tube amplifiers and these need to be wound with interleaved layers
that require changing magnet wire often. This takes up a lot of the time spent, so the speed of the main shaft is not important.
 

Thread Starter

emtor

Joined Feb 7, 2022
10
It's a simple Math problem ..........
Most "Step-per-Pulse" Stepper-Motor-Drivers have the option of "Micro-Stepping",
which means, with a 400-Step-Motor,
and a controller like the MP6500, ( ~$6.oo ),
You can advance the Motor in "Full-Steps", "1/2-Steps", "1/4-Steps", or 1/8th-Steps,
as well as Forward and Reverse,
as well as controlling the Pulse-Frequency.
That's up to 10-Steps per degree of rotation !!!
3600 pulses per revolution !!!

This, I assume would be turning a Screw with an attached Wire-Guide,
and a second Stepper-Motor turning the Coil-Form.

So now it's just a matter of figuring-out the Programming for a simple Micro-Controller
so that You can adjust for different Coil-Forms and Wire-Gauges.

I would suggest using Optical-Travel-Limit-Switches to reverse the Screw-Motor
so that it will be impossible to crash the Wire-Guide with a Programming mistake.

If You really want to punish yourself,
the whole arrangement can be also be done without a Micro-Controller
using a bunch of CD4017 Counters, a couple of Comparitors, and some DIP-Switches.
.
.
.
Yes, the stepper motor will be turning a screw with an attached wire guide.
No, I'm not aiming to punish myself :)
 

Thread Starter

emtor

Joined Feb 7, 2022
10
Obtain a simple step/dir drive or amplifier, there a re cheap Stepper IC's already board mounted L298 or LMD18200 etc.
Use a Bi-polar stopper motor.
You would just need a contact closure to increment the motor, if a few steps are needed, a 555 or 556 would do it.
A simple mechanical turn counter is also needed usually .
I've found a cheap counter that can be triggered by a Hall-sensor and a 1 millimeter thick magnet.
The Hall-sensor could also trigger a 555-timer one shot monostable to control the stepper IC, that is,-if a stepper IC can be controlled in this fashion.
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
4,067
The Stepper-Controller could be advanced directly by the Hall-Sensor,
but 1-Pulse per Rotation ain't gonna get it.

You seem to be talking in the direction of the "no Micro-Controller route"
which You expressed a negative view of.
Actually, it's not all that "bad", ( I was being facetious ),
it's just cleaner with a Micro-Controller,
if You know how to implement one that is.

A 555 doesn't necessarily do anything that would be particularly advantageous in this endeavor.

To do it the "Old-School" way,
You will need to fabricate a simple Oscillator,
add 6-CD4017 Counter/Dividers, and some DIP-Switches for programming,
plus the requisite Optical-Limit-Switches, and a Flip-Flop-Chip,
to provide automatic reversing of the Wire-Guide-Screw.

No separate Bobbin-Turns-Counter is necessary,
the number of Turns would be "programmed-in" by the DIP-Switches, and is a "Hard-Number"
and, once the number of turns of the Guide-Screw for a complete sweep is measured,
that will also be "programmed-in" with the DIP-Switches as a repeatable "Hard-Number".

Once a working combination of Bobbin-Speed/Turns, and Guide-Screw Speed/Turns
is demonstrated and approved,
the appropriate DIP-Switch-Settings can be written-down
on a Chart and replicated perfectly, at any time in the future.
.
.
.
 

John P

Joined Oct 14, 2008
2,026
This question was asked in the Microcontrollers forum, so you're not going to get many suggestions saying "Do it some other way"!
 

Thread Starter

emtor

Joined Feb 7, 2022
10
This question was asked in the Microcontrollers forum, so you're not going to get many suggestions saying "Do it some other way"!
-Where did I say "do it some other way"?
I'm simply trying to find out what options are out there.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
10,045

Thread Starter

emtor

Joined Feb 7, 2022
10
You seem to be talking in the direction of the "no Micro-Controller route"
which You expressed a negative view of.
Actually, it's not all that "bad", ( I was being facetious ),
it's just cleaner with a Micro-Controller,
if You know how to implement one that is.
The micro-controller route is OK and may well be the easier route to take provided I learn how to implement it.
The old school way may seem simpler on paper until you start soldering all bits and pieces together and spend ages to correct mistakes and hunt down bad solder joints etc. -So, micro controllers may be what I choose to use in the end.
As I understand it a stepper motor could be driven by very simple means but things like microstepping and fully exploiting what stepper motors can do is perhaps best dealt with by using micro-controllers.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
10,045
As I understand it a stepper motor could be driven by very simple means but things like microstepping and fully exploiting what stepper motors can do is perhaps best dealt with by using micro-controllers.

I know nothing about micro controllers, but have some experience with steppers and the drive modules. That said I can't imagine just a micro, by its self being able to drive a stepper. To my pea brain, it would be easier to use a driver, and if you need to control the driver, give the signals to it, from the micro.
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
4,067
The MP6500 Controller mentioned earlier will work just fine with
either means of generating/counting the required Logic-Pulses.
A Micro-Controller is definitely the way to go,
I just can't help You when it comes to Programming the damn thing.

You will have to have 2-sets of the following Outputs ........

Output "X" number of Pulses at "X" number of Pulses-per-Second,
Output High for Forward-Rotation, Output Low for Reverse-Rotation, ( can be "fixed" for Bobbin-Motor ),
2-Output-Matrix for fractional number of degrees of Rotation per Pulse,

2 Additional I/Os for Limit-Switches,
( 2-Inputs determine direction of Rotation for Wire-Guide-Screw-Motor ).

Reset all to "Home".

There will need to be a complete Instruction-Set for each Bobbin-size/Wire-size combination.

A Screw-Motor from a Floppy-Drive is not going to have nearly enough Power,
but there are plenty of adequate examples available.

An Alternating-Layer-Wound-Transformer would be a nightmare no matter how You do it.
.
.
.
 

Thread Starter

emtor

Joined Feb 7, 2022
10
An Alternating-Layer-Wound-Transformer would be a nightmare no matter how You do it.
It's a nightmare even when winding manually by hand. The layer patterns can be quite complicated.
Winding a coil back and forth with no insulation tape between layers and using a single magnet wire diameter is easy.
The program starts, does what it does and then stops.
When interleaving the primary and secondary windings the machine must be stopped when needed for cutting and securing wire ends, insulation tape added, change of wire diameter and then restarted.
Seems to me that such a system would need to accept manual control inputs as well as input from a microprocessor.
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
4,067
Sounds to me like You can't really use an automated system.
I would, however, still recommend using a Stepper-Motor for Rotating the Coil-Former.
This makes it very easy to setup a very accurate "Turns-Counter",
and, Stepper-Motors will run at ridiculously slow and steady speeds with zero problems.
.
.
.
 
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